About the Studio

Originally a community studio, Mississippi Mud is now a more private concern located near the warehouse district in Dubuque, IA.

The studio is owned by Ceramic artist and potter Gary Carstens and partner Tabitha Link. Our primary focus is to create decorative sculptural and functional work using traditional and innovative techniques. We offer one-of-a-kind ceramic artworks, have established a commissions program for businesses, community organizations, and individuals, and provide limited teaching and classroom opportunities for all ages.



Our work is generally high temperature fired stoneware and porcelain making the ware durable and lasting. The work is typically fired to cone 10 reduction in gas kilns as well as atmospheric firing in wood kilns. Between us, we have 45 years of experience.



Gary and Tabitha also have an instructor relationship with the Adamah Clay Center located in Dodgeville, Wisconsin, where we teach various classes and woodfire workshops. Over the years we have worked with notable regional ceramic artists including most recently Mr. John Britt.

Gary Carstens

Carstens was born in Oak Park, Illinois and received his B.A in fine art with an emphasis in sculpture and ceramics from Monmouth College, Monmouth, Illinois.


He is presently the owner of Mississippi Mud Studios in Maquoketa, IA.

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Tabitha Link

Link was born in Dubuque, Iowa and received her B.F.A in fine art with an emphasis in ceramics from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

She currently is Carstens partner in Mississippi Mud Studios in Maquoketa, IA. 

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From Mentorship to Partnership

Link and Carstens first meet through a community program in Dubuque, IA that match young artists with a professional artist working in the community.

"The coupling was designed to be a temporary arrangement: The two would meet once a week for six months, with the program culminating in a student-focused art show.


Seven years later, however, the relationship between Link and Carstens not only has continued but also has evolved."

Today, Link and Carstens are business and studio partners; combining their styles and skills to make custom art for personal and commercial use.

We are incredibly grateful that the Telegraph Herald wrote about our studio and relationship. Make sure to follow the link to read the full article!

403 Pershing Rd

Maquoketa, IA 52060

©2019 by Mississippi Mud Studios.